I found green eggs on stinging nettle on August 9 at Wolf Creek Narrows, Butler County, PA.
Are they eggs or something else?
And who laid them?
Post a comment with your answer.
I’ll reveal their identity later today.
THE ANSWER: 29 August, 3:15pm
This was a tricky quiz because the structures really do look like eggs. I thought they were butterfly eggs but they are too smooth. The butterflies most likely to lay eggs on nettle have very wrinkled eggs. For instance, click here to see the eggs of the small tortoiseshell butterfly.
That’s a bird report headline from PABIRDS, February 7, 2016. If you’re not familiar with 4-letter bird codes it’s a meaningless message and you wouldn’t know these may be Life Birds. (Fortunately the names are inside the report.)
Few birds have short names so abbreviations come in handy when you’re writing down a lot of them … as we’re doing today for the Great Backyard Bird Count. The U.S. Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) ran into this problem early on and made a standardized list of 4-letter codes for birds in North America based on their complete English names. The coding scheme works roughly like this.
4 words in name: First letter of each word. Greater white-fronted goose = GWFG
3 words in name: First letter of first 2 words + 2 letters of the last word. Great horned owl = GHOW, Red-eyed vireo = REVI.
EXCEPT if the last two words are hyphenated. I always get this wrong! It’s the reverse of the rule above and there aren’t many names that fit this pattern. Rule is: First 2 letters of first word + first letters of last 2 words:
Eastern screech-owl = EASO
Eastern wood-pewee = EAWP
2 words: First 2 letters of each word. Snow goose = SNGO, American robin = AMRO
1 word: First 4 letters. Sora = SORA, Brambling = BRAM
Collisions: Sometimes two bird names result in the same code as in BTGW for both the Black-throated green warbler and Black-throated gray warbler. In this case, look up the code using the links below.
Question: What do these two people have in common? On the left, a real person. On the right, the symbol for a fictional one.
Answer: They have the same name and there’s a bird connection.
Birders, did you know…?
The person on the left is ornithologist James Bond. Born in Philadelphia in 1900 he was the curator of ornithology at the Academy of Natural Sciences and the preeminent authority on birds of the Caribbean. His definitive field guide, Birds of the West Indies, was first published in 1936. Updated over the years, it was the only field guide devoted to Caribbean birds until 1998. Click here to read more about the real James Bond.
Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond 007 books, was an avid birder and writer who spent every January and February writing novels at his villa in Jamaica. Of course he had a copy of James Bond’s field guide to help him identify local birds. When he needed a name for his 007 hero he chose James Bond because it was “brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon, and yet very masculine – just what I needed.”
Fleming received James Bonds’ permission to use his name and they later met in person. Fleming also connected birds and Bond by placing many bird references in Dr. No including a guano (bird poop) mine and a bird sanctuary for roseate spoonbills. Click here to read about the 007 connection.
How did I find this out? When I returned from my Caribbean trip last month, Tony Bledsoe told me about the two James Bonds.
Thanks to Wikipedia, the source of this information. Note the copyright information below: * photo of James Bond the ornithologist in 1974 from Wikimedia Commons. Click here to see the original. * Screenshot from the Dr. No trailer, James Bond 007, from Wikimedia Commons. Click here to see the original and its rights information